Written by: Akansha Gupta
Workaholism is generally considered to be a socially acceptable addiction. Unlike sub- stance abuse and shopping, which take a toll on the body and the wallet, it’s hard to imagine working too hard and too long is an issue. The ordinary person looks at workaholics almost enviously; better a workaholic, they think, than a slacker or procrastinator.
Senior Sophie Krylova, a self-confessed workaholic, is always busy—and she embraces it. “I feel like I always have something to do,” she said. Though she can’t pinpoint exactly when she became a workaholic, she believes it must have been some time during middle school. “I didn’t have homework before that,” she said, “When I didn’t have anything to do, I used to think I should probably study more for the next test.”
Krylova’s workaholism propelled her into high school. She can’t stand being idle, so she keeps herself occupied. “Homework mainly keeps me busy but I also try to read stuff like magazines and books,” she said. “When I’m not doing that, I write creatively.” Yet, despite being hard at work constantly, she doesn’t feel stressed. “Creative writing helps me relax from other types of work and so does reading, but it’s still productive,” she said. “It helps me combine relaxation with work.”
Krylova recognizes that she has missed out on some things due to her workaholism. “My mom would ask me if I wanted to take a walk or go to the park,” she said. “In reality, I didn’t have much work to do, but I wanted to spend more time on my work.” Ultimately, Krylova thinks workaholism has more inherent advantages than disadvantages because it prevents her from procrastinating.
However, is she really a workaholic, or does she merely have a strong work ethic? e term workaholism is used lightly, sometimes even self-deprecatingly. Psychologists still lack a clear definition for workaholism, as it remains under-researched compared to other addictions. It’s difficult to determine when it ceases to be socially acceptable and when it turns into a harmful addiction.